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“A tranquil sea in the centre of a busy city” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont The Norfolk

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Fairmont The Norfolk
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Harry Thuku Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya   |  
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Ranked #4 of 156 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
77 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A tranquil sea in the centre of a busy city”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Nairobi is all go. Wild traffic, wild pedestrians, energy everywhere, the airport is tented receptions since the fire, but handling was super efficient, appauling slums, but wonderful wonderful people, and this hotel brings out the very best of them.
We were brought here by a car driver who like many in Africa is a grandparent looking after gradchildren. You never know, but probably HIV took his children. He was happy, positive and super friendly.
The hotel is delightful, built in 1902 of course fully modernised and absolutely charming. Great front entrance security, (lets face it, if security worries you ina city where they have had major terrorism incidents, you're not thinking clealry) and then into a sea of tranquility.
The front desk and bell staff were all friendly and helpful, checking tomorrows flights and car times for us.
Three floors high built around a central courtyard with several different tropical trees, the hotel oozes friendliness, charm, tranquility, harmony and style. Although only here for one night we thought this was about as good as it gets.
The rooms are extremely comfortable, great bathrooms with rain showers, every comfort.
Everything was simply wonderful.
We had a couple of glasses of wine and some delicious samosas and egg rolls in the bar. Joy, the ever smiling waitress, is a Joy.

Room Tip: This may not help get a great room, but remember, in Kenya, average wages are between $5 and $10 dai...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MichaelBroadhurst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear Michael Broadhurst,

Thank you for sharing your feedback on TripAdvisor.
It is always a great pleasure to read that you had a memorable stay at Fairmont The Norfolk.
I have shared your comments with my team and we are all delighted that you enjoyed the comfortable rooms, delicious meals, security and service from our colleagues.

We look forward to another opportunity to welcome you back to Fairmont The Norfolk.

Thank you & Regards,
Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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792 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    402
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    37
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (174)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Solon, Ohio
Level Contributor
138 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

Classic older hotel that seems to have been renovated recently. Nice courtyard, attentive friendly staff, and clean rooms. Bar lounge as well as a the front restaurant provide nice dining options, but with the same menu. Excellent oasis in Nairobi, Would definitely stay here again for business or with my family or friends.

NOTE: Had given my friend's room away on a prior visit, so they upgraded us both to suites this time. Nice gesture, but I noticed that this did happen to someone else when we arrived this time as well(He was at the bar with a free drink waiting to find an available hotel) so just be aware.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank OnAPlane2Day
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear OnAPLANE,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us on TripAdvisor,
I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay to the up-most.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Fairmont The Norfolk again!

Thank you & Regards,
Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

This is by far the best hotel ' experience' I have had in Nairobi. The hotel has a colonial style & was originally opened in 1904. The passage walls have many photos from yesteryear. The rooms are large & well equipped. (with a very large flatscreen TV - if you need it!). The bathroom has a separate shower. The gels & shampoos etc. are of good quality. The best thing about the hotel is the service. Everyone is friendly & efficient. Prices are also good compared to other similar hotels in Nairobi. There were many guests who were going on safari with a tour operated by the Hotel it seems. The breakfasts are very good - a great start to the day.The Gym looks good (did not use). They have a spa in the hotel as well. It is really a great hotel & I will be staying here on my future business trips. One thing that could be improved is to offer free WiFi to guests. WiFi is available at about $20 for 24 hours.

Room Tip: Try & get a ground floor room as they have a patio.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rainer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear Rainer S,

I would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us.
I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall stay; from our well equipped rooms, breakfast and exceptional service.
Please note that there is complimentary internet provided for all Fairmont Presidents Club Members and we invite you to join so you can receive all of the advantages the club has to offer.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Fairmont The Norfolk in the future.

Thank you & Regards,
Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

Was at this hotel while visiting Nairobi for work. Hotel staff was incredibly courteous and helpful, giving recommendations for places to go to for dinner. Hotel itself was incredibly comfortable. Great pool and gym. I highly recommend the breakfast buffet out on the terrace. Excellent variety and choices. Dinner there is excellent as well.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ryan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear Ryan H,

Thank you very much for sharing your comments on TripAdvisor.
We are very pleased that you enjoyed our breakfast buffet, great pool & gym and excellent Service from our incredibly courteous and helpful staff.

We very much look forward to welcoming you again in the not too distant future.

Thank you & Regards,
Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

The Norfolk Fairmont will put you in the mood of your Safari trip; Wonderful Hotel and services.
This colonial style hotel, build in 1904 will, like it did to us, put you in the Safari trip ambiance.
If you have the chance, i also advise you to have a massage in their SPA facility; just wonderful and very relaxing moment.
My happy feet went there and will probably go again in the near future

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gino Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester County, PA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

I stayed at the Fairmont Norfolk for 4 nights in August and found it a very pleasant stay. The property itself is very lovely, and the setting is quiet, away from the hustle of center city Nairobi, and next to the University. The hotel is historic, going back to 1904 I believe, but has been greatly expanded and all of the rooms are modern. On this stay, I had a very modern room. On a prior stay, I had a less modern room, but still very nice. I used the hotel as a "base camp" for my time in Nairobi and for travel to other parts of Kenya. The staff is very helpful. The rooms are clean, the showers are very nice. Free bottled water is provided in the rooms. The restaurants are all excellent (especially Tatu), but expensive. You can expect to pay a little less than Big City (London, New York) prices here for the food, which is way out of market for Kenya, but not exorbitant. There's a nice swimming pool (from the looks of it) and a good sized fitness room with modern equipment. I would return to this property every time I come to Nairobi.
TIP: If you join the Fairmont President's Club (free to join), you can get Internet access for free in all the Fairmont Hotels, including the Norfolk.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
84 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

This hotel is a gem in a tough city. Once you manage to fight your way through the crazy Nairobi traffic and you arrive, you are treated with smiles and staff who seem to always go the extra distance. We felt like nothing was too much trouble for the friendly staff. It is them that make this hotel stand out above the rest!
The breakfast buffet is outstanding and great value for money. We also ate dinner at Tatu and thoroughly enjoyed our meal with great service. The wine list could be improved a bit, with too many overpriced entry level wines. We also ordered room service and had an outstanding meal (best room service meal I have had in many years at any hotel)
The grounds are immaculate and we used both the gym and outdoor pool. This is probably the best equipped gym we have used at any hotel. The heated pool was also a nice touch in a great serene setting. Poolside service was friendly and efficient.
One area that need attention is housekeeping. Sometimes we had to call three or four times to get something taken care of. I get the laid back culture, but it can be frustrating when you are waiting for something and a few hours go by before it is dealt with.
Also, the concierge really needs to have an ear closer to the ground of what is going on in the city. A recommended 30 minute drive to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage turned out to be an hour and 20 minute nightmare of a drive and we missed the baby elephant feeding. They don't control the traffic, but should be aware of happenings in the city, or am I asking for too much?
Overall, a great experience and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ray J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont The Norfolk

Property: Fairmont The Norfolk
Address: Harry Thuku Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#6 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont The Norfolk 5*
Number of rooms: 170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just minutes from Nairobi's best attractions, including the home of Karen Blixen, from the Academy Award winning film 'Out of Africa', Fairmont The Norfolk offers luxurious guestrooms and suites, set amidst tropical gardens. It features plush furniture, flat screen TV, minibar, rainfall showers, and tea and coffee maker. Built in 1904, the hotel has been completely refurbished with a heated outdoor swimming pool, health club, sauna and steam rooms with massage facilities, tropical landscaped grounds, and award winning restaurants and bars from steak and seafood at Tatu restaurant, afternoon tea to Lord Delamere Terrace for international cuisine. The hotel is walking distance from artisanal craft shops, modern shopping centres, Sheldrick's Elephant Sanctuary, National Museums of Kenya and is the launch point for 'bucket list' worthy safari tours, which can be organized at the 24 hour concierge desk. A free shuttle bus is available to and from Jomo Kenyatta International airport, located 11 miles away. Business Guests are also offered a complimentary return shuttle ride to their office with free WiFi on board. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont Hotel Norfolk
Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont Hotel Nairobi
Norfolk Nairobi

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